A review of a film that if you haven't seen and are interested in finding out more about one of the most famous family feuds of American history, then this is a great film to watch. Even if you just like a well made and acted movie with an unraveling plot that isn't the cookie cut design of so many films these days; I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Just a note before the main review. This was actually a history channel mini series. I didn't know this when I watched the film.
Kevin Costner portrays the Hatfield clan elder alongside Bill Paxton who portrays the McCoy clan elder. Not being a great fan of Costner I had my doubts about the film. â€œMissesâ€ such as Waterworld, Tin Cup, Dragon Fly, etc... have not inspired me to watch a lot of his films. To me a lot are hit or miss with him. However, this was a hit, he's excels at playing the role he's given in this film.
Bill Paxton, again, movies seem to be hit or miss. But I think it was another great performance by Paxton. A great portrayal of a man who felt deeply betrayed by one whom he thought of as a brother.
I'm not going to go into the supporting actors but the cast did a good job as well. You have some fairly â€œwell knownsâ€ in supporting roles and some unknowns (at least to me).
The production of this film I feel is as good as any feature made film. A lot of on location filming gives it that natural and timeless feel. Costuming looks right as do the surroundings. It's set in the era of the civil war. So I guess that's not hard to replicate. But I felt they did a great job at staying correct to the era with props and scenes. It isn't an action thriller or CGI/special effects extravaganza. Practical effects look like they are used for the few that are there.
I don't want to give away to much here for those who will watch the film. And if your like me, you don't like spoilers. So I will be pretty brief in the plot. I think pretty much everyone has heard of the Hatfields and McCoys and knows at least some of the history of their feud anyway. If not, its a great time to watch the film and find out!
The plot follows the families starting with the two elders fighting alongside each other for the confederacy in the civil war. It leads you through the events causing the mistrust and resentments that develop between the Hatfield and McCoy elders. Coupled with a denied love, murders, thefts and accusations these things build little by little to create the history of a feud that raged back and forth along the Kentucky Virginia border that lasted generations.
I'm a sci-fi viewer at heart. But also a closet history buff. So bothering to write a review on a historical film instead is unusual for me. However, I feel this is one of those films that's worth letting people know about that would otherwise pass it by.
This movie is worth owning if your the closet History/Discovery channel junkie (you know who you are). If not then hit your local Redbox or rental store and pick it up. This is one of those movies you'll eventually see in the bargain bin as well since its not a box office title.
DVD or BluRay
Get whichever format you like. I bought the BluRay ($9) and the picture is excellent. But the versions I've seen between formats have the same content for features on the discs. The only special features is a â€œmaking ofâ€ feature you can watch, which I myself have not viewed so no comment on the extras.